As the Buffalo Bills prepare to play against the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs, Quarterback Josh Allen is planning to go into the game as a changed man. Following Damar Hamlin‘s shocking injury, Allen says that he has experienced a total shift in beliefs as he regathers himself to pursue a Super Bowl ring.
During an interview on ESPN’s Kyle Brandt’s Basement, Allen spoke about how much Hamlin’s injury brought him closer to God and strengthened his faith along with that of his teammates. Allen said that before the incident he was unsure of his beliefs, but that is no longer the case now.
Speaking on the matter, he said that it was a “spiritual awakening” for him, saying, “It’s just kind of kind of a spiritual awakening really for me, and I know for a lot of other people that maybe didn’t have the strongest belief, or wasn’t one of the biggest, strongest Christian followers.”
Allen also spoke about the kickoff return that to many people was thought to be a miracle or some sort of sign. In the team’s first game back from the injury, Nyheim Hines returned the kick all the way to the endzone on the first play of the game. Josh Allen says that he thinks that play was about more than just football.
Beginning, he said, “That kickoff return was pretty crazy, too. So there’s a lot of things that went on and a lot of … eye-opening situations that have stumbled upon us, or we’ve stumbled upon them. I think it’s been crazy, it’s been not fun, but at the same time it’s been very validating.”
Then, continuing, how he couldn’t stop telling his teammates about God because of his spiritual awakening. He said, “It was just spiritual. I was just going around and, I was just going around my team saying, ‘God is real.’ You can’t draw that one up, write that one up any better.”
That was a new experience for him, he said: “I’ve never been struck like that before. From a play, from an experience, from an emotion. It’s never hit me that way before. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been the most devoted Christ-follower in my life, and I’ve had my different beliefs and thoughts and ideas … but something got hold of me there, and it was so extremely powerful that … I couldn’t deny.”
Watch him here:
The Buffalo Bills seem to be ready to head into the playoffs and give their all to win football games, even in the aftermath of the injury. Allen said on the show that when the team heard Damar Hamlin’s voice over FaceTime, they went into a frenzy and players decided, then and there, to win their next game for Damar.
Bills’ coach Sean McDermott spoke to the media this week about preparing for the game and whether the team’s focus may be split between the health of their teammate and the upcoming game on Sunday, in a clip shared by Yardbarker: “This is not a soap opera. We’ve got one game to get ready for and that’s really what we’re focused on.”
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